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Quince Ratafia

From the Culinate Kitchen collection by


Ratafia is a fruit brandy traditionally made by combining unfermented grape juice with marc brandy. It can be made out of other ingredients, too: fruit kernels, bitter almonds, or fresh fruit. For the home cook, ratafia is a fun way to capture seasonal fruit into a cordial to drink later. This recipe, adapted from Jane Grigson’s Good Things, combines fresh quince with sugar, spices, and brandy or vodka.


2 large quinces
cup sugar
1 thumb-size knob of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
¼ tsp. ground mace
~ Vodka or brandy


  1. Rub the gray down off the quinces, then wash and dry them well. Grate the quinces (peel and core included) and place the grated fruit in a 1-quart jar.
  2. Add the sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick, and mace. Pour enough vodka or brandy over the grated quince to cover by 1 inch.
  3. Fasten the lid tightly, then give the jar a vigorous shake, to mix up the ingredients. Open the jar and push down the quince with a long spoon, so that the ingredients are submerged in the liquor.
  4. Set aside the jar for at least a week and up to a month. Strain into a clean bottle (or, for gifts, into several small bottles).
  5. Serve neat, chilled, in small glasses. Or experiment with cocktail recipes, substituting the quince ratafia for brandy or vodka.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

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0% recommend this recipe
1. by Teresa F. on Nov 14, 2012 at 3:56 PM PST

Hooray, another recipe for quinces. I have an flowering quince that still produces fruit and I’ve been looking for ways to use them besides making jam or membrillo. Looking forward to trying this out.

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